GIBBS DENLEY EAST ANGLIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Cambridge Granta 98
Overnight rain meant the start to Sudbury’s match against Cambridge Granta on Saturday was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Last year’s league champions won the toss and put Sudbury into bat on a pitch which had a green tinge to it and promised some early seam movement.
Hasantha Fernando and Al Younger opened for the Talbots and got off to a solid start, Fernando in particular punishing anything off line.
Younger was dismissed, caught at mid-wicket for nine, bringing skipper Darren Batch to the crease.
He and Fernando pushed the score on at a healthy rate and by lunch Sudbury had reached 93-1 from 22 overs, Fernando securing his first league 50 for the club.
The break, however, often brings about a change in fortune for a side, and once again it did.
Sudbury lost both Fernando and Batch quickly, for 65 and 23 respectively. Sudbury lost James Poulson, Nathan Poole and Peter Siegert in quick succession to leave them 117-6, off-spinner Hill doing the damage for Granta, helped by the needless run out of Siegert.
Craig Smith added some respectability to the score before he departed for 27 from 24 balls.
Sudbury were eventually bundled out for 170, losing their last nine wickets for just 71 runs.
Many times over the years, a score in excess of 150 has been enough to win a game at the Friars Street ground, so Sudbury knew if the bowlers were disciplined and the fielding was sharp, they could put pressure on the Granta batting line up.
Granta captain Coleman departed, caught at backward point by Poole off the bowling of Fernando for 0, to give Sudbury a great start.
A steady second-wicket partnership between Atkinson and Rice got Granta to 51 before Batch had the former caught at gully by Fernando.
Rice was out stumped for 40 just before the tea break - Ben Reece, seeing the batsman advancing, fired the ball wide of off stump, Adam Mansfield completing the job with some fine glove-work.
At tea Cambridge Granta were 72-3 and the game was in the balance.
But once again the break caused a change in fortune for the batting side.
Reece took a further three wickets before Granta advanced their score. He had Handley bolwed, Park lbw and Beddows caught behind.
Brief resistance was given by Fullarton and Davies but once again Reece accounted for their wickets. Davies was snapped up by Younger and Reece himself held on to a caught and bowled chance to dismiss Fullarton.
Ben Hyett, playing his first game in Sudbury’s first team, was then given the ball as Granta tried to block out for the draw.
He drew Shah into a mistimed sweep shot which was pouched by Poole at mid-wicket and the very next ball saw Granta number 11 Upton clean bowled to give Sudbury a well deserved win, bowling Granta out for 98.
Reece returned match figures of 6-25, his second six-wicket haul of the season.
Sudbury now sit in seventh position in the table and travel to Clacton next Saturday hoping for yet another win.